British children from poorer backgrounds who fall behind in reading at an early age earn 20% less in later life, according to a recent report.

Research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies for the Read on. Get on campaign found that, among poorer children, those who were the best readers at age 10 go on to earn 20% more per hour on average at age 40 than those with the weakest reading skills.

The study saw 17,000 children born in England, Scotland and Wales sit a reading skills test at age 10. Researchers used the reading test to benchmark their literacy.

Dame Julia Cleverdon, the chair of the Read On.Get On campaign, advocates all nurseries having at least one early-years trained graduate to boost literacy skills. She says: “By providing quality and qualified teaching in every nursery, we can ensure every child arrives at school with the building blocks in place to learn to read and succeed.”

However, according to group, 50% of privately run nurseries in England do not currently employ a single graduate teacher.

Read On.Get On- which is a coalition of charities, teachers, parents and businesses - is calling on politicians to ensure that by 2020, all nurseries have at least one early-years trained graduate, especially in those nurseries serving disadvantaged children. It estimates that this would require 11,000 more graduates.

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